A mass felling of trees in one of the world’s most-polluted megacities was halted by India’s top court yesterday, amid protests their removal would strip the city of a precious “green lung”.
Some 2,700 trees were being cut down in the financial capital Mumbai to make way for a depot for subway carriages in the city of nearly 20 million people.
But the felling angered locals, with Bollywood stars and residents joining regular demonstrations that grew over the weekend after workers started removing the trees at night.
More than two dozen activists were arrested during weekend protests were all later released on bail, police said.
Following an emergency hearing called after petitions from activists, the Supreme Court said no more trees in the suburb of Aarey were to be felled until a next court session on October 21. The date is also when crucial state elections are to be held, with the dispute taking on political significance.